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Grasshoppers and Black Widow Spiders
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Sounds like paradise to me....

We moved into our home in October, we live on ten acres out of an original 110 acre tract of land that has never been developed. Only used to graze cattle.

Recently we have been overtaken by grasshoppers, they are everwhere!  I realize that living in the country it is impossible to get rid of them  but is there any thing I can do to keep them from eating my rose bushes, hanging plants and small trees?

We also seem to have quite a few black widow spiders around. We are in the process of removing brush and rock piles and clearing around our house to remove their habitat. Is there anything else that we can do now to get rid of them?

I would greatly appreciate any help or advice that you have to offer.

Thanks,
Bonnie



And my reply....

Hello, Bonnie:

Sounds like you're out in the boonies!  The grasshoppers (depending on what kind) are one of the joys of the boonies and are probably cyclical - meaning that some years are worse than other years.  Hopefully this is a bad year.  There probably isn't too much you can do about it, unfortunately.  There is no "chemical" defense I know of (that won't hurt the roses) if you can screen them (a physical barrier) it might be the best way.  When you get that many grasshoppers, they don't care what chemicals you put on the plants.  

Black widow spiders are secretive animals - so cleaning up the area would be the most efficient.  They LOVE rock piles - we find them around here in the rock beds of railroad tracks.  You're doing what you can, and they will gradually get to be less.  Don't worry too much about them - their reputation is bad, but they're really not as bad as you've heard.  Black widow spiders are so shy that very few people are bitten by them - and they're not as poisonous as you've probably heard.

So, all in all, it's just nature, really.  One of the times you just have to grin and bear it, unfortunately.  Actually, it sounds like a nice place - none of those bugs would bother me!  I've got a nosey neighbor I'd trade with you!

Best of luck!  Sounds like a great place - would love to see a picture!

----john



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